Waste of money. Don't fall for the MoFi advertising hype. They are in the business of selling merchandise. The standard CD is an excellent music storage device - clearly surpassing the LP. I don't stream yet. I prefer owning media.
I own three of them; one Johnny Mathis, Aja by Steely Dan and Stand Up by Jethro Tull, and also have the regular remasters of two of them, and I would say don't waste your money, unless you just like the look, as they are pretty.
I don't think that they sound any better than the regular versions, and the way the disc comes in and out of the container will drive you crazy.
It is not so much the special coating (gold) or special plastic, etc. that matters. It comes down to the mastering of the recording. MoFi, DOES, often deliver well mastered, good sounding CDs. But, that is not always the case, at least to my taste, so it is a bit of a crap shoot. I think it is good that they do a bit of fiddling with the mastering; otherwise, we would not have as much choices in versions of each recording.
For the price that they are asking for the 24k MF cd is not worth it. I got so many of them, I bought them when they were cheaper.The last one I bought are Sacd by Patricia Barber modern cool sacd, I forgot the other title.I visited MUsic Direct I got lucky to find them.other alternative are xrcds they are excellent.You. Can visit acoustic sounds and elusive disc.I think elusive disc is the exclusives seller of xrcds in the US.
If you are willing to explore elusive disc has the most cd collections, impex gold are superb, in my case I invested with good sacd players so many good sacd collections now.Like you I don’t have a plan to go streaming? I have plenty of cd collections audiophile grade .For redbook I do have Raysonic Tube cdp.
I used to think DCC gold CDs are equal to gold 24k MF in sound maybe be better.But 2 months ago I found 2 of my Gold dcc disc cracks in the middle , non playable now. Nat King Cole greatest is one rhat cracks.OP First impressions cd recording are amazing done by late Winston Ma.They go on sale on holiday at Elusive disc.
I also have the REGA ISIS VALVE cdp/DAC, so I know it’s considerable audio performance strengths as a best-of-breed cdp very well.
These 24K cds are no better performance wise than “regular” redbook silver discs on your 5-figure $$$$$ superior resolving and premium DAC cdp. It’s a waste of money providing only an elusive novelty factor for a select small cohort who follow the marketing puffery .
They won’t fulfill any performance uptick promises on your Uber high-end CD player. It’s not they are bad choices, it’s just they are no better performance-wise and thus not worth the crazy money prices ascribed to them. There was a limited edition offerings of gold disks issued 10-15 odd years ago by the major companies . They died off just like the stillborn HDCD’s . I tried them both with my old ARCAM FMJ HDCD player before buying the current high-end ISIS spinner . Both of these CD unicorns are still in my stash but are they not any excelling products.
BUT .,,quality build OEM XRCD’s can be a performance uptick …. An entirely different animal !
I've found mofi cd quality is quite variable. You never know whether the extra $ will yield better sound quality or not. At this point, I've become rather cynical about the brand.
Although I can't afford gear at the level of ARC, what I've concluded is that many Redbook cds have the potential to sound great -- it starts with a high quality transport.
Maybe ask @ghdprentice -- he's very familiar with ARC.
Thanks for your kind words. Not sure I can speak about CD-R, I probably haven’t bought one in ten years. I hardly ever play my CDs.
I sure can say that the Audio Research Reference CD9SE CD player / DAC… is unbelievably synergistic with a setup with an AudioResearch REF preamp and amp. Hugely synergistic. While it has been discontinued because the transport manufacturer stopped making the transports (I am sure ARC has some for repairs). I would go out and find one on the used market. I am so thankful my dealer brought one over and twisted my arm into listening to it (I was happy with my player / DAC… $18K)… 30 seconds l ordered one.
“It comes down to the mastering of the recording. ”
+1, @larryi nailed it. I had much better luck with XRCD’s and Hybrid SACD’s from Acoustic Sounds label Analog Productions.
@jayctoy : For all the vaunted claims of digital over analog I still treasure and enjoy listening to my LP collection. Nostalgia maybe? I still seek and buy particular used LP'S. Unfortunately prices are rising on those!
Thought it might be helpful for OP to talk to you, but it would appear he is wedded to his Rega CDP.
In my experience, it is exactly the mix and mastering of MoFi releases that is so inconsistent and at times, worse than other versions. Surprisingly, I find myself in agreement with @jasonbourne in this regard.
@stuartk Agree that MOFI is inconsistent but believe it has a lot to do with the original tapes and whoever does the remastering. I‘m not much of a collector when it comes to popular music, so I rarely purchase MOFI releases but will say that I usually find good remasters to be an improvement to their originals, regardless of which label they’re associated with. However, a dealer friend always preferred original vinyl to remastered vinyl on his very high end rig so I’m inclined to say that it’s a matter of taste. Major labels like Universal are now taking great measures to remaster their catalogue and many are excellent but as I said, it always depends on the quality of the source and who they hire to do the remastering.
Yes. Agreed. I'm by no means one of those guys who asserts that "original CD releases are always the best". This is apparently "gospel" for some, here.
Personally, I've had extremely variable results. Sometimes the originals sound better. Often, remasters sound different but not necessarily better and sometimes remasters definitely sound better... to my ears, of course. As you assert, it's a matter of taste.
At this point, a sufficient number of MoFi CDs have disappointed me that I'm disinclined to purchase any more. I have a few Analogue Production CDs and these fall into the "different but not better" category, for me.
Part of the equation is that my system is now sufficiently resolving and sufficiently dialed in to make decently mastered CDs sound very good and well-mastered CDs sound excellent to stunning. Of course, there will always be some recordings that cannot be helped by remastering... "Layla" comes to mind immediately. I've tried various versions and have (ironically, perhaps, given the topic at hand) opted to stick with the old MoFi gold discs. ;o)
@stuartk I believe that ‘Layla’ remaster was relatively recent. If you like Eric kClapton, then I’d recommend the ‘Blind Faith’ remaster from many, many years ago. They did a remix that warrants having, even if the original is highly prized. The old Traffic remasters are also pretty good, however they never released a version of ‘Johnny Barleycorn Must Die’. The Grateful Dead ‘Mars Hotel’ was remastered twice. Once in the late 1980’s and another time just around two years ago. There is a significant improvement in the most recent release however that recording isn’t that good to begin with, so there’s an issue with separation, balance and distortion. The original Traffic recordings are just old and there’s just no work around under those circumstances. My two favorite MOFI remasters are Bob Dylan’s ‘Blood On The Tracks’ and The Grateful Dead’s ‘American Beauty’. Those both turned out really nice while giving the slight edge to ‘Blood On The Track’s’. So in a very discursive way, what I’m saying is that yes, the catalogue is inconsistent but I would say the same thing regardless of who does a remaster/re-release of pre recorded material. There’s absolutely no way they couldn’t be unless the original tapes were all recorded in the same studio, by the same producers, with the same equipment and at the same time. And while the historical period of the recordings are worthy of serious consideration, some earlier recorded tapes sound better than recent ones. The Analogue Productions ‘Scheherazade’ RCA Richter/CSO remaster that was originally recorded in the later 1950’s on a three track machine is jaw dropping. There are just so many variables to consider, that it’s either hit or miss or get to together with someone who owns a lot of these re- releases and pick there brain. My last purchased re-releases are Japanese paper sleeve remasters of the three Nick Drake studio albums. I’m happy with them however what they lack in detail, they make up for in warmth of tone. Anyway, recordings are flawed and they’ll always be that way but I would never want to be the guy who makes the blanket statement that all remasters are b*ll s**t.
My MFSL Layla Ultradisc gold UDCD 585 is, according to Discogs, from 1993.
You may laugh at this... I prefer the rhino remasters of both Workingman’s and A. Beauty to their recent MoFi hybrid counterparts. I also prefer the old MFSL Mars Hotel to the recent hybrid. Same with Caravanserai and Rock of Ages. All these hybrids sound rather dull to me -- the redbook layer, at least -- I don’t have an SACD player. Perhaps your system is more resolving or just brighter, overall? Or what sounds "warm" to you sounds "dull" to me? I don’t like overly bright sound in guitars or audio but I don’t like dull, either.
On the other hand, I’ve tried Japanese hybrids of Layla and Exile on Main Street and found both way too bright. Do the Japanese all listen on tube gear? ? ?
I have Traffic’s 2nd album and Low Spark on MFSL golds and they sound good enough. For Exile, I've settled on the Bob Ludwig Virgin remaster. Same with Sticky Fingers.
congratulations on your upgrades! MOFI is MOFi. Having said that, the biggest difference between the gold and the aluminum layers, is that there is a small chance that the aluminum ones degrade in time, but the gold one’s pretty much live forever. I’ve bought thousands of CD’s and have had maybe six have issues and these are all factory, not Office Despot copies.
All the best.
@stuartk Totally understand, different stereos render different results. I have Quad 2905 ESL’s and they are very revealing. I will say that ESL’s while great for classical music don’t work all that well with rock/popular music. I wouldn’t say however that my stereo is cold. It’s generally neutral but can sound warm or cold depending on the recording. As far as alternative recordings to MOFI, I recently purchased the MOFI Crosby, Stills and Nash and am wondering if I don’t prefer the Audio Fidelity remaster instead. I’m not laughing at Rhino, the GD box set Europe 72 remasters are outstanding.
There is a superiority of gold, but...the issue isn't that it's a gold disc, it's the mastering or remastering of the album. There are some great ones and some ok ones. It also depends on the year of the mastering. Why would you or any else enjoy being raped by someone who horded unopened MOFI releases? Anything more than $40 ,unless a really extraordinary disc, and try not to laugh when you look in the mirror.
@dobnbav I recently purchased Derik and the Dominos Layla. Aretha’s Gold. Boz Scaggs Silk Degrees. The police Synchonicity. Rod Stewart Every picture tells a story. Eric Clapton Slow hand. Steely Dan Aja. Moody blues Days of future passed. Queen The game. Queen News of the world. Queen A night at the opera. Elton John Honkey Chateau. Elton John Goodbye yellow brick road. Pink Floyd Dark side of the moon. Pink Floyd The wall. The Who. Who are you. The Who Tommy. U2 War. Jethro Tull Thick as a brick. I guess I will be looking in the mirror and laughing 😂
Tattoo, it’s your money. And your slightly odd taste in music. Paying huge premiums on reissues you haven’t researched…to each his own. I own a large number of Mofi discs, includes number of SACD’s. Maybe one I purchased used because it was out of print but I didn’t pay $80 and I knew the issue was solid. Frankly, of all my 5000 discs, SACDs, LPs, Blu Rays, and DVDAs, if I bought 50 used, and I think only 2, the other a super rare—only 750 copies were released, online.—John Mayall and Paul Butterfield EP. But as I said it’s your money.
@dobnbav What do u mean my slightly odd taste in music ? Everyone like and loves different music. And also I know there will always be a market for these if and when I sell them. Also look how much they are going up in value. It’s almost like an investment.
I should've said revealing instead of "bright". My mistake. I've only heard one pair of Quads and they certainly weren't bright or cold. I haven't heard that many systems, overall, and as it's happened, those that were significantly more revealing than mine sounded fatiguing to my ears, so it's just inexperience on my part.
I'm a huge fan of '72 era Dead but have a love/hate relationship with the Jerry and the boys (and girl). I can't stand out of tune singing or sloppy playing -- the "ragged but right" ethos is an oxymoron from my standpoint. But at their best -- when they were both inspired and tight, (particularly from '71 - '77), I love 'em.
"Europe '72" was the first live Dead album I heard and it's consistency spoiled me forever. No full show from that year that I've heard equals it, for me. Inevitably there are clunkers intermixed with jewels. A perfectionist by nature, I'm not the type to buy albums because I like a few tunes, so I find this hit-or-miss miss aspect frustrating. I turn to the cherry-picked "Europe '72 and "Steppin' Out -- England '72" anthologies when I'm in the mood for that '72 sound.
I saw them in "73, '74 and '77 but due to the "recreational enhancements" popular back then, don't actually remember much! ;o)
@stuartk When Jerry passed, I stopped following the Dead altogether with exception to the Fare The Well concerts in SF. Prior to that, I saw them just four times starting in 82 as well as the only JGB show ever in San Diego. I’ve always had extraordinary responsibilities towards my immediate family so I couldn’t just pack the car and follow them around the country. Anyway, I’ve liked various aspects of each era though I do have issue with those shows where Donna wasn’t given a monitor and sang out of pitch. Rhino has the rights to all GD recordings as far as I know. I do like many of the Rhino remasters but as a whole, don’t hold the opinion that they reach the same level of refinement as some MOFI and most Analogue Productions do. With Audio Fidelity remasters, the original tapes are unaltered with exception to cleaning up hiss and noise. I’m inclined to recommend those remasters to folks who want the same mix and levels they remember from the originals. Also, not long ago, I downloaded the Bill Evans Trio ’Waltz For Debbie’ DSD 128 file from High Definition Tape Transfers and will say that I am impressed. The clarity, balance and tone is better than I expected. I hope this discussion will dispel the idea that all remastered reissues are the same. Most likely, the age of the source will speak to the audio quality but not always. The levels, microphones, tape machine, recording venue, etc... will influence the original recordings sound quality. Additionally, the condition of the original source tapes and the person leading the project will greatly influence the remaster. And I’m pretty certain that many other variables could influence the final project. I will say however that a certain aesthetic consistency can be heard in these boutique companies so that the MOFI sound may or may not sway someone from justifying the cost of purchase. Personally, I’m excited from time to time to see a recording that has undergone a process of remastering but in the end, the price tag is a very big factor in whether I’ll pull the trigger. As much as I’d love to own re-pressings from The Electric Recording Company, their price tag is too far beyond my budget. Anyway, I believe I’ve said pretty much everything that I can about this matter.
Yes; that out-of-pitch Dona singing is pretty awful. However, beginning around '76, I think (I could be mistaken) her singing was much more on key and I enjoy her contributions to the band, from that point on.
Yes. Same here, but if I'm honest with myself, most of the remastered versions of favorite recordings I end up buying are at best, moderately better (if at all -- many are simply different) compared to original versions. It's rare that I encounter a remaster that offers a dramatic improvement. The fact that this does occur, from time to time, is what keeps me buying them. Of course, now that MoFi is (for me), out of consideration, there are fewer to choose from. I will continue to keep an eye out for Analog Productions releases.
Perhaps my system isn't capable of revealing such "refinement". . . or else, we are listening for/prioritizing, other aspects of the sonic presentation.
“the same level of refinement as some MOFI and most Analogue Productions do.”
I have been carefully adding releases from them. Chad Kassem have been masterfully restoring / reproducing recordings from golden era.
Also recommend titles available in XRCD, UHQR silver disc format. Expensive as some of them are in $40-60 range but worth every penny if you have a nice system to take advantage of ultra high resolution recordings.
ASR Emitter Exclusive II amp, Bryston BDP 3, Ayre QB 9 Twenty DAC, ASR power cable, Hi Diamond Speaker and Interconnect cables, Wireworld Platinum Starlight USB cable, Thorens Modified TD 160 MK1, ASR Mini Basis Exclusive phono amp, AT33 mono cartridge, Audioquest interconnect cables, Quad 2905 ESL speakers, PS Audio passive line conditioner, Cruz First Maestro outlet, various Akiko Audio tuning sticks both large and small, Herbies Audio accessories, lots of mono vinyl, lots of CD's, DSD downloads on external SSD. Apple M1 Mac Mini, iPad, iPhone.
@stuartk So above is a list of just about everything I can think of. Power cables and headphones are next on the list. Probably Sennheiser HD 800s are priority and that way I can enjoy more rock and pop.
@tattooedtrackman The MOFI Cd's are SACD hybrids, meaning there are two layers on the Cd. One layer is a Redbook Cd for standard Cd players. The second layer is SACD for SACD players. A standard Cd player cannot read the SACD layer. Occassionally SACD's aren't hybrids, meaning that only the SACD layer is on the disc but this is becoming more rare and usually only applies to certain labels. The SACD file is Direct Stream to Digital or DSD and it is at least twice as large as the standard Redbook Cd. Downloading DSD files and playing them through a compatible DAC is essentially the same as playing an SACD in an SACD player.
@goofyfoot I didn’t know there are SACD players. So my Rega ISIS CDP can not read a SACD ? Or it can but only read the redbook layer. I do have 1 SACD it’s an Aretha Frankin and I did notice that it was rather bright with treble. So what u are also saying is the MOFI are similar to the SACD but they can be played on a reg cdp to take advantage of the sound quality? Sorry if I’m not making sense but this is so new to me even though I have been buying cds since they first came out. Also is one better than the other ?( sound quality ) SACD vs MOFI 24k ?
@tattooedtrackman You're correct, your Rega will not play SACD's. Most SACD discs are hybrids, meaning that there is a standard Redbook Cd layer that the regular Cd player (Rega) reads and an SACD layer that only an SACD player can read. Both layers are on the same Cd so If you put one of those SACD hybrids in your Rega Cd player, it will play the standard Redbook Cd layer. If you had an SACD player and placed the SACD in your SACD player, it would play the SACD layer. The fact that the disc is a hybrid and contains two different files has no affect on the sound quality of ether layer.
@tattooedtrackman Generally, I would opt for the SACD layer. Please keep in mind that more recent MOFI Cd's are SACD hybrids so they have an SACD layer but if you don't have an SACD player, then you'll be listening to the Redbook Cd. With older Ultrasound MOFI releases, your solely paying for the remaster/remix as there was no SACD back then. Personally, I only own a DAC but if I were in the market for an SACD player, I would get a player that strictly plays SACD and not Redbook Cd's. This is because it's difficult to make a good sounding player that can play both.